England should not be considered one of the favourites at the European Championship because “they’ve always failed in big tournaments”. That is the opinion of former France defender William Gallas, who has slammed England for their mental fragility and predicted a poor showing from Gareth Southgate’s side at Euro 2020.
The Three Lions are at their St George’s Park training base preparing for their first Group D fixture against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday.
Southgate’s side warmed up for the tournament with successive 1-0 wins over Austria and Romania last week and are in a confident mood ahead of the tournament opener between Italy and Turkey on Friday night.
England are considered second favourites, behind World Cup holders France, with the bookies to secure the trophy at Wembley on July 11.
That tallies with the Fifa world rankings, which place Southgate’s side fourth, behind Belgium, France and Brazil, but former Arsenal and Chelsea centre-back Gallas is not backing them.
“It’s the same thing in the World Cup; they always fail. I’m not really convinced about England at all.”
England have never won more than two games at a single edition of the Euros and have just 10 victories across their entire history at the tournament.
They have bad memories of their last experience at the competition, with Roy Hodgson’s side beaten 2-1 by minnows Iceland in 2016 in the knockout stages.
Hodgson resigned in the wake of the humiliating defeat in Nice and Gallas thinks Southgate should simply be aiming to better the former Crystal Palace boss’ effort.
“England went out in the round of 16 in Euro 2016 to Iceland [last time], so their first goal this time should be to beat that performance,” he said.
“The expectation from English people is to win the tournament, but for me, there’s a lot of talk about this squad, so if they don’t reach at least the semi-finals, they will have failed.”